Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Work-in-progress

Work-in-progress

I've been a little quiet on my blog as I've been in a great big slump. I've been struggling to believe I was worth anything. Not capable of writing anything worth reading. A face among voiceless faces drifting around the earth without purpose. What is the point? I kept asking myself. Who cares? 

Well, I found out someone does care and it made all the difference in the world. And if they care, why couldn't I? Once again, a switch was flipped. The world turned on. The sun rose. I began to believe. 

And a few days ago, I began to write. I let go. I held on. Determination crowded the doubt to the edges. My laptop open. My fingers moving. 

No concern for marketing or rules. Just the fun and joy that writing has always brought me.  

For a few days now, I've gotten back into a writing grove (I'll be knocking on some wood now.) I've got a new morning ritual that reminds me to believe, and it's working. 

 Nope, not gonna share what it is. It's a secret and may just be a little weird. But then, I'm a little weird, so what does that matter. 

I wanted to share a few lines from my works-in-progress. Normally, I don't share anything because I never feel good enough. I'm going to get over that, and I'm going to let my voice be heard. 






It feels good to be writing again. My goal is to have the thriller I'm working on done by the end of the year. I'm also in the very beginning phases of a romance. A few lines are down, and I have it churning around in my mind, playing like a movie shrouded in a thick fog that I'm still trying to see through. 

I stopped writing for a while because I stopped believing I could. All it took was for someone else to believe in me and to let me know it. And you know what, I kinda feel like I can do anything at this point. 

Watch out, world. Here I come! Barreling toward the Hall of Fame. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Darkness has settled - once again


Darkness has settled - once again

I'm struggling friends. I don't know why it happens but it has once again come. The darkness. Perhaps it is part of my INFP personality, I don't know. All I know is that it hurts. I'm struggling to write. I'm struggling to smile. I'm struggling. 

I sit in the sunshine watching the robins fly from the tree to the fence. The bees fly from flower to flower. They have a purpose.  They have a reason. 

But what's my reason? What is the point of me? Why must I be the way I am. 

In my experience being me, I know there is nothing I can do to make this darkness lift. I don't even know why I feel this way. Does anyone else have such a hard time being themselves? 

I'm so lonely. Yet, I feel uncomfortable with others. I crave the attention of a friend, but I'm too afraid to let anyone new in. 

 Oh, what I wouldn't give to be someone else for a day. 

The warmth from the summer sun settles on my skin, I hope it soaks through and dilutes the darkness that resides in my soul. 

Perhaps a favorite song can shake me and rattle it free. Pick the wrong one and I risk sinking deeper.

Does anyone else feel this way? They all look so carefree to me.

Pain is my constant company.



Friday, June 2, 2017

Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway


I'm sharing this Amazon giveaway for Author Karen Ann Wirtz. 

No purchase necessary. Click here to enter. Good luck!

Here's some info about the book. Though it's for older middle-grade readers, adults will enjoy this fantasy adventure as well. 


A Game of Truths—by Karen Ann Wirtz
There are no monsters under the bed, and things that go “bump” in the night are just the product of an overactive imagination—or are they? 
Little sisters aren’t always made of sugar, spice, and all things nice—but annoying little pests. Just ask Owen and Hugh, Imogen’s bigger twin brothers who are tired of their four-year-old sibling constantly getting them into trouble and lying about it.
The two teenagers are woken up by a loud crash one night—and discover that Imogen has gone missing and their parents are in a deep sleep from which they cannot be woken. Frantically searching the house and garden, they soon find themselves in the forest—a dark, foreboding place at night filled with dangerous secrets. 
As the boys venture deeper into the forest, they find themselves dragged into a world filled with mysterious creatures—some out to help them, others dark creatures who seek to harm them. 
One thing is for sure: they have only a few short hours to find Imogen and get back home before it’s too late.
As Owen and Hugh race against the relentless ticking-down of the clock, they find themselves battling monsters in a magical dimension. Breakfast is coming—and if they don’t find Imogen before sunrise, they may never see her again. Can Owen and Hugh triumph against the darkness and rescue their sister?
Karen Ann Wirtz’s new novel, A Game of Truths is a thrilling adventure story packed with imaginative storytelling, a unique cast of personalities that children will identify with while taking parents back to their own childhoods. This is Wirtz’s first novel, a refreshing indie read that readers age 11 and up will enjoy along with their parents. 
Enter to win! Or order your copy of A Game of Truths today from Amazon, available on Kindle reader or as a paperback. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Writing Lows

Writing Lows


I open up the file of my work-in-progress and stare at the page. I don't type anything. I sigh. The lid on my laptop closes. Another day goes by that I don't write a thing.




Why do I keep doing this? It's certainly not because I have writer's block. I know exactly where my story is going. 

I'm haunted. It's self-doubt. It's feeling like a failure. It's wondering if it's enough that this story might only matter to me, and no one else, to get me to finish it.



I want to be successful. There's no denying that. I won't pretend for a minute that I don't care if no one ever reads my work. 

I use a pen name because I don't necessarily want attention on me. I've never liked being the center of it, but I'd like it to be given to the characters and worlds that I spend so much time on and care so much for. 

Oh, how I love to write! I always have. I love spending time in another world. I absolutely adore it when my words make people connect to my characters and makes them cry, laugh, or get grossed and/or creeped-out.  

But it's heartbreaking to feel like none of it matters.


I don't like shouting into a void. 





I don't like feeling like a talentless fool. 


So how do I continue? How do I keep on writing stories that no one will ever read? 

Writing is a huge investment. Financially and emotionally. I wish more readers knew how much heart we put into our work. 

But this is part of the process it seems. My heart dances to the tune created by the thousands of words that compile my little tales and then thuds into the pit of self-doubt and worry that no one will ever want to read them. 

Sorry to moan. I'm an emotional person. Why hide it? 

And maybe some of you are feeling the same about whatever brings you to great highs and lows. 

I'm hoping that putting these feelings out there will help me take off on a writing frenzy again. 

As Henry Ford said, "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."


Fingers crossed. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The biggest writing mistake I keep making.


The biggest writing mistake I keep making.

I keep making the same frustrating mistake in my writing over and over. It's not punctuation, grammar, spelling, dialogue or action tag errors (although, I do make these too.)

 No, it's that I keep thinking I'll remember things.

The other day, I was in the shower (a place where I do the majority of my best thinking), and an exciting new element of my book was revealed to me. Oh, it was so exciting and excellent I knew I'd never forget it. So, I didn't bother writing it down. I got a little busy the rest of that day and didn't have time to start the next chapter. By the next day, I couldn't remember quite what it was. The problem is that I have so many ideas, they tend to blur together, and I confuse them.



I spent yesterday doing another activity that produces ideas for me...walking around. But I never could quite remember exactly what it was I had thought up. I was like a donkey walking around with the carrot dangling from a string just out of my reach.


(I think the muse does this to punish me. I mean, she gave me this beautiful gift and I didn't appreciate it enough.) Occasionally, I could scrape my teeth along the tip enough to get a little taste of what it was, thinking I was about to remember, only to realize I'd never get a good grip on the whole dangling, delicious carrot and it would slip away. Ugh, I really am a jackass!



So the lesson for you and especially for me....When you get an idea, no matter how big or small, write that s*$# down! Write it down!

You know, I've looked through my journal or picked up one of the approximately two million scraps of paper in my office where I did write things down. And I read things didn't remember writing. True, some of it is written in the middle of the night in the most illegible penmanship on earth, but it amazes me how quickly things can fade from my memory.


Write it all down, pals!


One day I'll follow my own advice and save so much wasted time walking in circles after carrots.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Great Marketing Mystery

The Great Marketing Mystery

We all know that authors, both traditionally published and indie published, are responsible for our own marketing and I gotta tell ya, this is the most puzzling mystery for me. 




I don't mind admitting that I have NO CLUE what I'm doing when it comes to this. Beyond friends and family, sales have dried up. 

There are things that I repeatedly hear that I should be doing. For example...

Set up an email list!




But how in the heck are you supposed to do that when even family and friends are reluctant to sign up? Random people, who aren't going to your blog and don't even know you exist, are supposed to randomly sign up somehow?
I see expensive courses that promise to show you how to do this, but I find it hard to believe them. It seems like circle talking that doesn't really get sales for authors but gets sales for people who sell things to authors in the promise of increases sales. Not saying it doesn't work, just saying I don't have the kind of budget that allows me to find out.




"You've gotta spend money to make money!" That's the word, right?

I'm willing to put in some money, but I just don't know where to do it. I've already found that companies that call themselves book promotion companies or author promotion companies turned out to be a waste of my money. I won't be doing that again.

I'm experimenting with other things. I'm trying to think both inside and outside of the box.  I'm going to share the things I do in this blog.

So, if things work, I'll let you know. If things don't work, I'll let you know. Even if I sound like a pathetic loser.

And please feel free to share what works for you and what doesn't. I'm looking to learn all I can, but there is SO much information out there to sort through, it almost seems like an impossible mission. I love to tell stories, but marketing and business planning don't come easily to me. No business savvy found in my blood.

More money? Hard work? I can do that. Luck? Gulp...let's hope that with money, hard work, and maybe a little help from other writers out there (wink, wink) I can one day solve this mystery.

So I can go from this...





To this...


To this...







Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Indie Authors Beware of Scams


Indie Authors Beware of Scams


About a month after setting up the LLC for my publishing company with my State, I got a letter in the mail. It claimed to be a "LABOR LAW COMPLIANCE NOTICE."





I'm still learning everything I need to know about operating my new small business so when this came, I thought I overlooked something when I filed my paperwork. It wasn't long before I grew suspicious.

1) It came from Columbus (made sense), but I had to mail the payment to Florida.
2) There's no way to pay online. Really? I filed all my paperwork with the State that way.
3) I had to "allow 2-3 weeks for delivery."
4) I don't have employees. This was made clear while filing my paperwork for the State Licensing.
5) On the backside, it said, "DISCLAIMER: Labor Poster Services is NON-GOVERNMENT publisher of law employment posters." Yada, yada, yada..."This service has not been approved or endorsed by any agency of the government." HA HA!

Okay, so the scary fine of $17,000 worried me enough to do more research, and I found other web pages and law advice sites warning of this scam.

Be careful friends. There are so many people looking to take advantage of others.






Wednesday, March 15, 2017

SCRIVENER - LOTS TO LEARN


SCRIVENER - LOTS TO LEARN



So, I just bought Scrivener. It wasn't really an impulse purchase since I've been hearing about it for quite some time now, but I did decide rather quickly to buy it last night.

Once it downloaded and I opened up those tutorials, my body flooded with regret.


No! Why did I buy this?



I'm not a person who learns by reading long, detailed piles of information like that.

I instantly hated Scrivener.

 I learn better by seeing and doing. Thank goodness for Youtube and people like Vivien Reis for her great tutorials. Like these... How to Outline Your Novel in Scrivener and this one How to Get Started Writing Writing with Scrivener

It doesn't seem as scary to me now. I'll probably never read through that long tutorial but may watch some more videos. I'm sure I'll learn the most by messing around with it.

I know there are a lot of people who swear by Scrivener. I'm going to be brave, roll up my sleeves, and get in there.  Maybe one day I'll be one of those people who shout about its greatness from the rooftops. I guess we'll see, won't we?

Now to go play around and create a story...

Watch out!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Getting myself out there

Getting myself out there


So I've been experimenting with ways to get myself "out there." 

But what is out there anyway? I guess it's where the readers are but I don't know how to find them. 

It's like I'm in the movie TROLLS (which I thought was super cute, btw) and I'm a Bergin who's searching for the trolls. They're out there, but I need to find a way to reach them. Only, I don't need to eat them to be happy. I'm more like the Bergin, Bridget, who just wants to be friends with the trolls. I just want to share my stories with those who might enjoy them. But I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff, shouting into nothing. 

HELLO! IS ANYONE OUT THERE?



I recently started over, writing under a new name. My twitter follower count was set back at zero and though I found followers with my previous profile, they didn't seem to be readers. I never had much success gaining too many followers on Facebook so starting over there doesn't seem as painful. Instagram was never my friend. I don't think I'll bother. 

I've started using Wattpad, though my mom was the only one to read the chapter I posted. I don't really understand the suggestions on gaining more readers either. If there are so many readers on Wattpad (from what I read 90% readers 10% writers, then why do I have to interact with other writers to get reads?) If you understand, please feel free to explain it to me. I want genuine readers, not yet another way of gaming yet another system without really finding my people.  I'd rather have real followers than the appearance of 5,000. 

I also tried one of those Twitter services that will tweet your book with claims of getting hundreds of clicks. Well, I got two. Even though it wasn't expensive, it wasn't worth what I spent. 

Where are the readers hiding? That's the honey hole I'm searching for. 

Have any suggestions for me or social media platforms that reach readers? I'd love any and all help I can get. 

I'm going to use this blog to be honest and post my questions, mistakes, successes, and useful information I find along my way. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

SO BEGINS THE BLOG


SO BEGINS THE BLOG


I've been struggling to get a blog post up on my website. And I know why.

I like to tell stories, but I don't like creating blog posts. Supposedly, to gain a following, I have to do it, though. Regularly. And it's supposed to contain "great content," whatever that means.

But who really cares what I have to say. I'm not an expert. I'm just someone who is passionate about telling stories. I might not be good at it, but I love it.

I'm not a success who has any pearls to offer. No one is clamoring for my secrets of success. But I'm happy. I'm at a place in my life where I'm finally doing what I love. I'm not going to let anything or anyone stop me. I'm not going to worry about not being considered a "real" writer if I'm not traditionally published. I'm not going to care if my books are in bookstores. I don't like leaving the house, and I'm sure there are others like me who prefer to do their shopping online. I hope I'll make readers happy and they'll enjoy my stories. I don't care about getting rich or famous or being critically acclaimed and winning awards. The best reward, for me, will be the day a reader tells me how much they loved my book.

There are so many blogs out there and so much advice, how is this really supposed to help me grow a following? I'm willing to give it a try and put in the work I don't like to do to get some attention to the work I love.

And maybe this blog goes out and joins so many others in the void of nothingness. If anything, it might serve as a reminder as I move along on just how far I've come when I need to turn around and remember.

So here it goes...